Whether it is with another person or a brand, we are likely to feel influenced by those that we feel emotionally involved with. When we feel disappointed by someone that we feel strongly for, we are likely to forgive them eventually because of the emotional attachment. And the same can be said about our brand relationships - once we feel emotionally attached to a brand, we provide them with our trust, tend to be loyal and recommend their services to family and friends.
Thus for marketers, it is no wonder emotion has always been a core element of customer experience strategies.
Establishing emotional connections will not only allow consumers to feel happy, valued and appreciated for their services, but it will provide businesses with the ability to achieve long term customer loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors. And so here are 5 ways in which these connections can be developed:
1) Be honest and transparent – Once a customer believes they have an authentic relationship with a brand, trust has been developed. And once trust is there, an emotional connection is too. Firms need to make sure they fulfil the promises they make to their customers, and ALWAYS do what they say they will do.
2) Constantly listen – As marketers, if we are to emotionally connect we must always listen. If customers feel their needs are put first before the brands’, they will feel valued. This is one of the most significant emotions a consumer will feel if they have a positive relationship with a brand.
3) Always be available to connect with and respond – It is essential that brands are constantly aware of their customers’ messages online. If customers are trying to communicate but do not receive a response in a timely manner, firms may come across as uncaring and unreliable. Brands need focus on being consistently available to respond and develop that emotional connection.
4) Make messages personal – Just like brands, consumers want to feel like they are first choice. They want to feel special and valued. Businesses need to personalise their messages where they can – send communications to customers as if they were face-to-face conversations. If customers feel the messages are relatable and aimed at them, they will feel appreciated and emotionally involved with the brand.
5) Develop a brand personality – this can be achieved when there is a set of human characteristics associated with a brand. For example, a brand may be perceived as honest, imaginative, daring, reliable, intelligent etc. to customers. And those individuals that share similar traits will be inclined to feel emotionally connected.